Over many years, in a small studio in Los Angeles, I found a way through current art ideas to arrive at a very different approach to architecture. I discovered a wide open field available for an alternative theoretical basis for architecture that doesn't overlay meaning on abstract shapes, but instead wrests meaning from the unstable intersection between the subject, object and real cultural context. It incorporates cultural and personal associations, high and low references, intuition and calculation, risk, memory, politics, sex, and poetry far beyond what is allowed in mainstream formalist modern architecture. I want to drop a new architecture into the crushing flow of cultural meaning and everyday use, let it get battered, polished and transformed, and in turn have it indelibly affect the meaning of everything around it.
I think that the only way to make something timeless is the hard way. . . by creating something that is inextricably woven into it's own place and time, so that the culture that changes around it can drag it forward into a new context. Most architecture, by its very conception, goes straight after timelessness and abstraction and avoids any connection to the living cultural context. Rosa Muerta dives into the here and now, denies nothing, and goes with the flow. It means something now. It will mean something different years from now. But, it will never be meaningless.
If you look back at previous projects, this house develops around the same issues as the Altered Parking Blocks, the Strap-on Subwoofer, the Smoking Tables and the Vacancy Motel. . . creating a kind of armature for social activity, extending minimalist subject/object experiments into a more complicated cultural dimension, exploring the dialectic between the familiar and unfamiliar., and carefully reinvesting the basic body/object relationship with an open but self-concious physicality. I have been developing this aesthetic vocabulary and conceptual approach for nearly 20 years. Rosa Muerta was my first built example as architecture.
Without a client or a budget, I built this house literally by myself because I wanted to assert architecture as an individual and direct art form that can exist on underground support alone. I wanted to make architecture directly for the very people who would be cool enough to come out, share it, and support it. So far, there have been hundreds of people that have vacationed there and brought the house to life in as many different ways.